Employment Success! On the job with Kang Eui Hong

In May, we introduced you to Kang Eui Hong, who sought an opportunity to stock shelves.  Today, we’re thrilled to post an update: in August, Kang Eui successfully landed a job with a local Dari Mart in Coburg, Oregon.

Kang Eui’s manager hired him to help keep Dari Mart’s coolers stocked during the busiest part of the day.  In preparation, Pearl Buck’s employment consultant worked closely with Kang Eui and his manager to design Kang Eui’s shift, so that that both he and Dari Mart were set up for success.  From there, it was up to Kang Eui–and from the very first shift, it was clear that Kang Eui planned to give this job his 100%.


Kang Eui approached stocking with consistent hard work, thoroughness, and attention to detail.  He quickly mastered the basics of the task, and then began working with his Pearl Buck job support staff to improve his speed and efficiency.  It soon became clear that Kang Eui was ready to take on some new responsibilities; within a few months, his manager added bagging ice to his daily routine.


Soon, Kang Eui will celebrate three months of successful employment.   His manager reports that his work is excellent, and recently added five more hours per week to his schedule.  We look forward to watching Kang Eui continue to grow, thrive, and turn this opportunity into a success story for everyone involved.

Want to congratulate Kang Eui?   Give it up in the comments below!

About Our Team


“Tell us about yourself.”  This is the question that kicks off many a job interview, and whether you dread or relish the opportunity to answer it really comes down to one thing: preparation.  Everyone has a story; at Pearl Buck, we’re all about working with job seekers to discover theirs, celebrate it, and turn it into job-landing success.

Of course, we have a story, too, and we love to tell it.  Our Community Employment team is a diverse group of people united towards a common goal: empowering ability, creating great employment connections, and advocating through our work for the notion that a community is at its best when there’s a place for everyone to contribute.  We’re creative, responsive, dedicated, and deeply invested in our local employment community.  Our services have real value to both job seekers and local employers alike.  We’re happiest when everyone wins—and given our solid record of success, we’re a pretty consistently happy bunch.

What sets us apart from other organizations? Our team truly sees each individual we work with as a person, and not just a placement.  We listen to our job-seekers’ interests, goals and dreams, and collaborate with them every step of the way; the jobs we seek and find are fit to align with their individual skills, strengths and talents.  We believe in the people we work with.  Everyone has potential; we help our job seekers to identify theirs, and connect them with the tools they need to cultivate it into something sustainable and productive.

“Working with Pearl Buck Center gave me a great sense of accomplishment and knowledge to building a career strategy. I would highly recommend anyone looking for a job to go through Pearl Buck Center.” -Matt Lyons, PBC Client

We aim for the same results with our business partners, and the range of industries we work in may surprise you; we’re just as comfortable consulting on a horse farm or a factory floor as we are in a restaurant, an office or a bank.  Here are just a few of the business we’ve partnered with:

Saturday Market                               Falling Sky                                                Willamalane
Oak Street Day Care                         Woodland Park                                        Mattress Mania
T.J. Maxx                                              City of Eugene                                         Purakal Cylinders
Safeway                                              Chambers Construction                        Togo’s Sandwiches
 Valley River Inn                               Selco Community Credit Union          Fuller Cabinets
Dari Mart                                            Cottage Grove DMV                               DAC
Arby’s                                                   Harlequin Beads                                     Marriott
Serenity Lane                                     Papa Murphy’s                                       Bread Stop

The services we offer businesses make meaningful contributions to the hiring process at any stage–from the interview to the 90-day performance review, and beyond.  We can provide detailed perspective on prospective employees, suggest creative, efficiency-improving ways to bring them on board, and provide expert training support to bring them up to speed.  Consistently, we hear that the work we do saves time, saves money, and connects businesses with great employees.

“Our machinery operators are paid pretty well, and the opportunity for them to stay at their workstation and not have to break off to do other tasks…has been financially really sound for us. But more than that, the opportunity to bring some of these guys in…they’ve always got a smile on their face, always just a great attitude, they actually bring the morale of the company up every time they’re here in the building.” – Kallin Benson, Fuller Cabinets

As a team, we have a combined total of 45 years of experience in creating employment success.  We’re the first agency in Oregon to receive certification as Employment Support Professionals (CESP)*.  Our hard work has earned us a solid reputation for delivering results; job seekers and businesses alike know that they can count on us to go the extra mile for them, whenever and wherever we’re needed.  Our creativity and innovation earn us regular kudos, too.  We’re always on the lookout for new ways to get the word out about who we are and what we do; this blog serves as one outlet for that, and we’d love to keep you along for the ride.

There’s plenty more we could tell you about ourselves, but now, we’d like to turn the question over to you: Who are you?  What do you do, and what brings you here today?  Whoever you are, we’d love to hear your story; if you’d like to visit, talk, or meet up with us for a cup of tea sometime, email us at pbc.community.employment@gmail.com, or just comment below.  Thanks!

*CESP is the first and only national certification program for employment support professionals.

Jobseeker: Kang Eui Hong


Meet Kang Eui Hong.  Though still in his early 20’s, Kang Eui has done an impressive amount of work towards accomplishing some big goals, including learning a second language, completing five years of ABSE courses at LCC, and becoming a skilled pianist.  And now, Kang Eui’s ready to write the story of his next success: finding part-time work.

By all accounts, Kang Eui’s already proven himself a hard worker.  His instructor at LCC spoke highly of his meticulousness, and the skills he’s developed in English reading comprehension.  And since 2004, Kang Eui has been building his work skills as a volunteer with his church’s concessions stand at Autzen stadium.  His contributions have impressed his coworkers, and they’re happy to recommend him; one praised his energy, personality and work ethic, and another lauded his concentration, dedication, and will to achieve.  We saw the same qualities during a recent month-long job trial at a local market, where Kang Eui learned to stock, clean, and serve customers to the employer’s standards.  Based on our observations, we’re confident we can recommend Kang Eui as ready to work.

Kang Eui will thrive in a position that capitalizes on his natural talents–organization and neatness, physical strength, and a friendly, positive attitude.   He and his job developer, Joshua, are presently seeking opportunities to consult with local businesses for advice on where Kang Eui’s skills might find a good fit.  Interested in learning how you can help?  Please contact Joshua via email, at joshua.gramley@pearlbuckcenter.com.
Kang Hired

Video Resume: Dan Welty

Dan Welty has great personality, a strong work ethic, and a solid background of work experience (plus some serious line dancing skills!)  He’s seeking a part-time job in driving or delivery, but as you’ll see in his video resume below, there’s plenty else he has to offer–especially to employers in the production, manufacturing or warehousing industries.

For more information about where we think Dan’s going to shine, consult with Tamathy Howald, his job developer.  You can reach her by phone at 541-501-2639, or by email at tamathy.howald@pearlbuckcenter.com.

If you’d like to help Dan out with his job search, please share this video with anyone you think might want to see it!

Dan's Poster

Job developer profile: Doris Steele


This week’s post is authored by contributor Clayton Cone.

Doris Steele has worked as a job developer for the Pearl Buck Center for 26 years and as a job developer for a different employer for 16 to 17 years before that. She has former clients who have been working on their jobs continuously for as long as 8 years, 10 years, even 25 years. Over the course of her career, Doris has placed hundreds of clients in jobs.

One former client found his dream job at Valley Tool and Die in the Glenwood area. In high school he had had a shop class that he really liked, and he wanted to work in a machine shop. Doris found Valley Tool and Die, and the shop owner said he could give Doris’ client a try. Her client succeeded. The shop has a new owner, but her client is still there today, 25 years later.

Another former client also has been highly successful on the job. She started out as a part-time dishwasher at Fox Hollow Assisted Living, but the head of the kitchen there said that she had “too much potential” for that. The facility promoted her first to a server and then to a full-time caregiver at 10 hours a day, which is where she is now.

Doris says, “You need to be in the right place at the right time to get a job.” So she makes a lot of effort to get there, making contact with 30 to 50 businesses a week. She e-mails, talks with owners and human resource departments, sends letters and walks in on foot; and she uses the Internet to complete applications and search Web sites for jobs. She helps job seekers find work in Eugene and Springfield; and she has made an extra effort to help a Cottage Grove resident search for employment in her own home town, in an effort to avoid long and complicated bus transfers from Cottage Grove through Eugene.

Doris, who has completed 2 years of college education, enjoys hiking, gardening and spending time with her granddaughters, ages 15, 8 and 6.

Jobseeker profile: Traci Roberts


Meet Traci Roberts.  Her dream is to work as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant.  Helping people, she says, is what truly makes a job meaningful to her–and since many of her relatives are also caregivers, her career choice makes her feel closer to family, too.

While Traci pursues her CNA license, she’s eager for a chance to build relevant work experience in an entry-level position with a nursing home or care facility–for instance, as a dietary aide, or in housekeeping.  She has no problem with working her way up, she says, and based on her performance during the 8 years she was in her previous position at Fred Meyer, we have no doubt she has the work ethic to do so; from pushing carts in the snow to creating special craft projects for kids in the play area, Traci has a long history of going above and beyond.  And she’s also demonstrated great service; as one example, she described getting to know regular customers who need help with carrying out groceries, so she could be available for them as soon as they finished checking out.

Beyond working in long-term care, Traci says she’d also be happy to work with children, perhaps as a teacher’s aide.  Her ideal job would be about 20 hours a week, and since she drives, she can work anywhere in the Eugene area.  To the skills described above, Traci adds that she’s dependable and well-organized.  Outside of work, Traci loves swimming, hiking, movies, going to the spa, visiting the coast, and coupon shopping.

If you’re interested in learning more about Traci or exploring how you can help with her job search, contact Lorie Polk, her job developer, at lorie.polk@pearlbuckcenter.com.

Have you seen this bus?

Bus Photo Web

Togo’s, one of our community employment partners, recently wrapped an LTD bus to spread the word about their subs…and Pearl Buck!  It’s a little tough to see here, but across the very top of the advertisement, it says, “Proudly supports Pearl Buck’s work program”.  We’re thrilled by the mention, and having seen the bus in person, I can report that it looks just great.

Our relationship with Togo’s has been a great success story for both of us; to learn more, check out our post from February 12.

Employers Learn To Embrace Disability Hiring – Disability Scoop


 Shalonda Sanders, 35, works in the mailroom delivering letters, documents and FedEx packages to law office employees at Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago. Sanders, who was hit by a car at age 9 and left with brain trauma that slurs her speech and causes some tremors, was placed in the job through Best Buddies. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Disability Scoop recently posted a great article about employers who have recognized the benefits of bringing individuals with disabilities onto their teams.   It features a woman named Shalonda Sanders, who is thriving as an employee of the mail center in one of the largest law firms in Chicago;  her story is a great testament to the fact that with the proper planning and support, there’s a meaningful and valuable place for everyone.  And the value isn’t just social or cultural; as this article makes clear, there are also serious business benefits to employers reevaluating how they look at capability on the job.   Consider this excerpt about Walgreens, and their success with turning differences into strengths:

“At Walgreens, more than 12 percent of its distribution center employees have a self-disclosed disability, said Steve Pemberton, Walgreens’ chief diversity officer. That exceeds the federal government’s rule for federal contractors, which stipulates that employees with disabilities represent 7 percent of the workforce.

It is not charity, Pemberton said, but a business-driven decision. Many are on the autism spectrum and learn in a mechanized, rote way, which is useful in a distribution environment that is highly mechanized and time-sensitive, he said. Given the efficiency demands of supply chain, there is no room for lower standards.

In addition, “When you have a disability, there’s a certain resilience you have to have to navigate the world, you look at challenges from a different perspective,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to have a problem-solving skill set on their team?””

Walgreens is proving that such forward-thinking, ability-responsive hiring is a great foundation for success; in the right circumstances, they’ve found that employees with disabilities can meet–or even exceed–the same performance standards set for any other employee.

Read the full story here: Employers Learn To Embrace Disability Hiring – Disability Scoop.

NBC Nightly News spotlight on inclusive employment

NBC Nightly News recently broadcast a story about The Prospector Theater, a movie house in Ridgefield, Connecticut that employs 80 people–most of whom happen to experience some sort of disability.  Here’s a link to the video: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/this-boss-gives-the-disabled-what-she-says-they-want-most–jobs-404479043807



Pretty amazing, right?  If you’d like to see more, The Prospector’s own site has an incredible collection of employment success story videos, and they’re definitely worth a watch.  Here’s a link: http://www.prospectortheater.org/video-1/

The Prospector offers its employees an opportunity to build skills and gain experience, but it also gives them something many of us may take for granted: the chance to define themselves by their abilities, and to do so within the day-to-day activity of their community.

We’ve seen great examples of businesses like The Prospector in other industries, too–for instance, Portland’s Happy Cup Coffee Company (http://happycup.com/about/), and Eugene’s own Reality Kitchen (http://www.realitykitchen.org).  Have an idea about somewhere else you could see a program like this working in our community?  Let’s talk!  Start a conversation with us in the comments section, or email us at pbc.community.employment@gmail.com.

recommended viewing

Of the many ways art can enrich our lives, perhaps its most universally significant gift is its profound capacity to create empathy between people from diverse circumstances.  And hey, who doesn’t enjoy kicking back with Netflix after a long day at work?  This week, we’d like to suggest checking out some films that’ll offer you the best of both: a nice opportunity to unwind, and a great chance to see the world from another person’s point of view, too.

First up on our list is “Temple Grandin,” a 2010 biographical film about the best-selling author, professor, livestock industry consultant, and autism advocate.  It’s reviewed here by Lorie Polk.

This biopic is an engaging and inspirational view of the challenging life of a woman with autism in the 1950 & 60s, Temple Grandin, portrayed by Claire Danes.

Back then, one of the prescriptions for autism lead the patient to being institutionalized.  In fact, that was even suggested to Temple’s mother, Eustacia Cutler.  Fortunately, Temple’s mother believed strongly in the possibility of her daughter leading a normal life…with natural supports as needed.

The film encourages people with challenges to overcome them and create the life they want. It also lovingly gives us an insight into Temple’s world–how she perceives her surroundings, and a little of how her mind works. Finally, the film celebrates all the people that supported her in achieving the successes she accomplished. Temple Grandin’s courage, intelligence and perseverance in the face of great odds reminds us all what we can do when we believe in ourselves.

For more perspectives on the experience of autism, the website Autism Speaks recommends the following five films, all currently streaming on Netflix:

Sounding the Alarm
Fly Away
Dad’s in Heaven with Nixon
A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism
The Story of Luke 

You can find trailers and brief synopses of each on the Autism Speaks site: https://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/5-autism-films-netflix

Lorie also recommends Door to Door, the true story of Bill Porter, a man with cerebral palsy determined to become a salesman.  It stars William H. Macy, and won numerous awards, including six Emmys and a Peabody.  Here’s a trailer:

Have a film recommendation to trade us?  Let’s hear it!  Share what you’ve got in the comments below.